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Dr. John Kelley: Can CBD Help You?

Research is revealing potential benefits of CBD

The challenge: Which products, dosage, and for what medical conditions?

by John Kelley, MD
Family Medicine Department
Boulder Medical Center

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of hundreds of chemical compounds, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), found in the hemp or cannabis plant. While THC is known for producing a “high,” CBD is non-psychoactive. Because of this, its appeal as a potential therapeutic option for a myriad of conditions has grown. Extensive preclinical research—much of it sponsored by the U.S. government—indicates that CBD has potent anti-tumoral, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsive, and neuroprotective properties. CBD directly activates serotonin receptors, causing an anti-anxiety effect. It works by modulating our endocannibanoid system, a hitherto unknown and complex neurochemical system encompassing most of the human body, including the brain, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, immune system and peripheral organs.

Recently, there has been an onslaught of CBD products hitting the market amid claims that it is a cure-all. While it is certainly not a panacea, there is a solid body of research showing its numerous potential benefits. When trying to navigate CBD, it can be challenging to determine which products to buy, the appropriate dosage, and for what conditions.

Over the past year I have undertaken a lot of study on this topic and consulted with other experts in the field of cannabis medicine in order to be able to give my patients solid advice on the therapeutic benefits of CBD and which CBD products are of highest quality. Groundbreaking research is showing that Whole Plant CBD (as opposed to CBD isolate) has superior therapeutic properties. Whole Plant CBD includes CBD, less than 0.3% THC and numerous other phytocannabinoids, terpenes and anti-inflammatories. I recommend to my patients that they only purchase CDB products that are high quality and rigorously tested.

CBD may cause adverse reactions and is known to interact with several medications. Specifically, research shows that CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin. Before you start using CBD, discuss with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions.

More about CBD

  • For general CBD information:  ProjectCBD.org
  • Click here to learn more about the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Drug Development Process (including information about preclinical research

Get to know John Kelley, MD

Dr. Kelley practices holistic medicine in the broadest sense of the word. For him, every patient has to be approached as an individual person with specific needs, focusing on the mind-body connection through a bio-psycho-social lens.

“I focus on diet, exercise and healthy personal and spiritual lives in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease,” he says. “I am always seeking ways to get patients safely off of medications.”

In addition to Western medicine, Dr. Kelley utilizes evidence-based Eastern medicine, natural supplementation and continues to train in the ever-expanding field of Integrative Medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Kelley: